How to Plan Your Finances for Retirement Abroad

Many people approaching retirement age sometimes start to think about the idea of taking early retirement and getting away from their everyday life – with a move abroad becoming a more appealing option due to difference in weather and the cost of living that can be attained – cheaper countries will help people to use their retirement savings a lot more frugally.

If this is something that you would like to do then there are a few things that you should consider… and in fact many more things will need to be prepared if you want to retire abroad.  For example, should you find a small part-time job to keep you busy, and how are you going to integrate in terms of language and culture?

Look Into Taxation and Property Issues

When it comes to finances, there are some important considerations for retirement abroad.  For example, if you are planning on retirement abroad in low-cost countries such as Mexico, North Cyprus or Belize then your retirement money is always going to go much further. You will also find that tax on property will often be a lot less in many foreign countries – as well as property prices being a lot more affordable.  With reduced food and general living costs as well, it’s no surprise that so many people are opting to travel to hotter climes.

What are the Options Regarding Health Insurance?

If you are planning on retiring in a country that is not as well developed as your current residence, then there are some considerations that you should bear in mind.  For example, what provisions will you make for health care insurance and coverage?  Make sure you investigate this fully, as on occasions you might be surprised.  Using North Cyprus as an example again, the price of medical treatment is so low that the actual excess you would pay on an insurance policy is usually a lot more than what you would be paying anyway.  Of course, this is an exception to the rule, but it just goes to show that you need to fully research the country you are planning on retiring in.

Find Out the True Cost of Living Abroad

Also make sure that you look at what the true cost of living is when it comes to more everyday items.  Before you make any firm commitments to retire abroad, sign-up to a few online forums and ask questions.  If you are planning on moving to Switzerland there is an ex-pats website called the English Swiss Forum which is where English-speaking people can share experiences and help each other with advice.  A quick Google search should tell you if there is an equivalent forum in your country of choice.

Will You Be Able to Integrate Socially?

It’s not just about the financial implications of retiring abroad though.  You also need to consider any social considerations.  You will be far away from friends and family and those things that you take for granted which could make it very difficult to settle in a foreign country. This sense of movement is completely natural and will be known to a lesser degree or higher by all those who move abroad – but it’s a feeling that can be overcome by making an effort to meet new friends and establish new links with people – which means that sociable types who find it easy to make friends and meet a lot easier to retire abroad.

Make Sure You Have Money to Cover an Exit Plan

One final piece of advice: if you are planning on retirement abroad then make sure that you have an exit strategy planned.  Be sure to put some money aside that can bring you back home if things to do not go completely to plan.  There could be nothing worse than being in retirement and getting stuck abroad with no means to get home.  Obviously this is a last resort, but not everybody who moves abroad for their retirement will have a positive experience – so make sure that you are prepared for all eventualities.

Guest Post: Thanks to the Wall Street Journal Subscription Website

This guest post was written by the team at Wall Street Subscriptions.  They specialize in offering discounts and deals on many different financial planning publications including the MarketWatch Retirement Weekly newsletter, and of course a Wall Street Journal Subscription.  For more information you can visit their website on;